DALLAS – Ten days after guard Delonte West got out of the doghouse, suddenly his career with the Dallas Mavericks may be in jeopardy.
The Mavs suspended West on Thursday morning for conduct detrimental to the team. The suspension is indefinitely, meaning no one knows for sure when West will be back with the team – or if he'll be back at all.
In fact, even West and some of his teammates sounded like he'll never wear a Mavericks' uniform again.
“It’s between (Mavs management) upstairs, and they’re going to handle that problem,’’ forward Vince Carter said. “I wish him the best.
“He’s a helluva player. I like Delonte. He’s got some stuff he’s going to work out with
them. That’s not our concern.’’
The Mavs released a short statement, quoting Donnie Nelson – the team’s president of basketball operations – saying: “We have suspended Delonte for conduct detrimental to the team. The
suspension is effective immediately and no other statements will be issued.’’
Coach Rick Carlisle addressed the team and told them of the suspension prior to Thursday’s
practice. It was the second suspension for Wrest in the past 11 days.
After an Oct. 15 game against the Houston Rockets, the Mavs suspended West – also for “conduct detrimental to the team.’’ But after West talked with Nelson and Carlisle, that suspension lasted less than a day.
But this latest suspension could be detrimental to West’s future with the Mavs, since he is a repeat offender. And the two offenses occurred in a short period of time.
“This is a business, and we’re all professionals here,’’ forward Shawn Marion said. “There are things that happen and we have no control over it.
“It is what it is. It’s between them upstairs, and they’re going to handle that problem. I wish him the best.’’
West used his Twitter account to go on a rant about the situation. And he wasn't at all pleased with what suddenly has happened to him over the past 24 hours.
Part of West's tweeted stated: "If I'm not what u lookin 4 ....That's fine...just dont kick me in my ass on the way out the door....I didn't do anything to deserve that...
''"I love the city of Dallas..I love playin in the NBA...no I'm not off my meds...no I ain't on no bipolar trip...this real people lives..
"And it just ain't right..imma leave it at that..no ill will towards no one...I'm just sittin here across from the arena wit tear in my eyes.''
West is in a dogfight with six other guards for playing time. But it isn’t clear what's at the crux of his latest suspension, other than West saying he was being blamed for an argument between two of his teammates that he had nothing to do with.
“We put out a release that I think addresses it,’’ Carlisle said. “And per the release, we’re really not going to comment any further on it.’’
In the Mavs’ locker room in Wichita, Kan., prior to their preseason game against Oklahoma City, West was very animated and going on and on about different issues and contracts around the NBA. But it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
Still, this latest distraction by West is one the Mavs know they don’t need with the regular season set to start Tuesday against the powerful Los Angeles Lakers.
“You’ve got to get over it,’’ point guard Darren Collison said. “It’s a tough business.
“As a team we’ve got to look forward to moving on, and I think we’re ready to move on.’’
Carter, for one, said he'll contact West and find out what's going on with him.
"That’s my buddy,'' Carter said. "Man, I tell you what, he’s a great guy. I don’t know what’s going on, so I kind of stay out it. But if he wants to sit and talk and vent, that’s what I’m down for. I enjoy it.''
And there's somehting else Carter enjoys about West.
"Other than that, we’re losing a competitor,'' he said. "That’s just plain and simple. He’s a competitor. We all know that.
"Everybody goes through their differences, because but that's one guy you can rely on. And I
feel for him. It’s a sensitive situation right now and it’s not much that I can say.''
With the regular season just around the corner, Marion said the stakes are too high to get bogged down in a player's personal issue.
"We still got to go on and focus on our task at hand,'' Marion said. "You
can think about it, but at the same time we can’t harp on it all day.
"We’ll grasp it and then kind of push it to the side and go do what we need to do. They're
going to handle it upstairs. Let them deal with it. It’s not in our hands.''
If West has played his last game with the Mavs, Carter knows he will be missed.
"Every time we go on the court the first thing he says is, ‘Let’s go get these boys tonight,’ '' Carter said. "Whether we’re favored to win or we not, he always believe we’re going to win.''
-- Dwain Price
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